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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 23 March, 2019

Is the government ignoring people who lose discretionary medical cards?

That’s the argument Sinn Féin will make in the Dáil today.

Discretionary medical card protest
Discretionary medical card protest
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

WHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?

Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…

3 things we’ll be keeping an eye on

  • 2 pm: Charles Flanagan will be answering his first round of questions as Children’s Minister.
  • 3.15 pm: The last week has been arguably the most tumultuous in the coalition’s history, with the publication of the damning Guerin Report and subsequent resignation of Justice Minister Alan Shatter. The Opposition will have Taoiseach Enda Kenny in their sights during Leaders’ Questions.
  • 7.30 pm: During Private Members BusinessSinn Féin will table a motion on what it describes as the “persistent refusal of the Minister for Health and the Government to recognise the reality … and the hardship” faced by people who have lost their discretionary medical cards.

Everything else that’s happening in the Dáil

  • 3.36 pm:Enda Kenny will answer questions related to his department.
  • 4.36 pm: The Order of Business will be read.
  • 5.06 pm: Topical Issues will be discussed, where the chamber discusses four subjects of concern raised by TDs.
  • 5.54 pm: The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014, which proposes the establishment of a new housing assistance scheme, will be debated.
  • 9 pm: The Dáil adjourns.

Everything happening in the Seanad

  • 2.30 pm: The Order of Business will be read.
  • 3.45 pm: Senators will debate a Bill that proposes the establishment of a commercial State company to take control of Shannon Airport.
  • 5.30 pm: The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Islamist group Boko Haram in Nigeria will be discussed in a cross-party motion that will see the Seanad call on the government to “offer all available assistance and support to the Nigerian Government in their attempts to secure the immediate release of the children abducted”.
  • 6.30 pm: Matters on the Adjournment.

Everything else that’s happening in the Committees

Jobs Committee

Room 2: Debate on access to finance for SMEs will resume today, with contributions from a number of groups.

  • 1.45 pm: Irish Small and Medium Enterprises 
  • 2.30 pm: Irish Business and Employers Confederation 
  • 3.15 pm: Small Firms Association

European Affairs Committee

  • 2 pm, Room 1: Adrian Kavanagh, Geography lecturer at NUI Maynooth and Jennie McShannon, CEO of Irish in Britain, will attend a meeting on voting rights for EU citizens.

Agriculture Committee

  • 2 pm, Room 3: The committee will discuss EU regulation in the organic fishing sector, before meeting with representatives of Bord na Móna to examine maximising land usage.

Environment Committee

Education Committee

  • 4 pm, Room 1: Education Minister Ruairi Quinn will come before the committee to discuss implementation of the contentious Junior Cycle Student Award.

Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House today:

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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